SanDisk Sees 2009 as the Year of SSD Notebooks

The company believes SSDs are poised to enter mainstream corporate notebooks in 2009. Fast new SanDisk G3 drives will become available in midyear in capacities of 60GB, 120GB and 240GB, with subsequent prices of $149, $249 and $499.

Not to be outdone by its main competitor, Samsung, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, solid-state drive maker SanDisk Jan. 8 launched a third-generation family of SSDs -- appropriately called the G3 series -- that use multilevel-cell NAND flash memory.
The G3 series drives are intended as drop-in replacements for standard spinning hard-disk drives in notebook PCs. The first releases in the SanDisk G3 line are SSD C25-G3 and SSD C18-G3 in the standard 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch form factors; each is available with a SATA (serial ATA)-II interface.
G3s will be available in midyear 2009 in capacities of 60GB, 120GB and 240GB, with subsequent prices of $149, $249 and $499, respectively.
Flash-powered laptops -- also known as "flashtops" -- first came into the world market from Samsung in March 2006 at the CeBIT conference in Hannover, Germany. The first 32GB machines, which retailed for more than $3,500, were sold into the business market in Korea. Since then, Dell, Lenovo and a few other laptop makers have added the SSD option to their product lines, with 128GB being the highest capacity available.
Both SanDisk and Samsung are trying to entice their customers -- whether in the data center or in personal computer manufacturing -- to ditch standard spinning disk hard drives and drop in these new, faster SSDs.
On Jan. 6, Samsung revealed a new enterprise-level 2.5-inch, 100GB solid-state drive that can handle heavy-duty applications, such as video-on-demand, streaming media content delivery and on-line transaction processing while consuming substantially less power than a standard spinning disk drive.
The SanDisk G3 SSDs are more than five times faster than the fastest 7,200-rpm HDDs and twice as fast as SSDs shipping in 2008, clocking in at 40,000 vRPM and anticipated sequential performance of 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write, SanDisk said.
The G3 SSDs provide a Long-term Data Endurance (LDE) of 160 terabytes written (TBW) for the 240GB version, sufficient for a projected 100 years of typical user usage, SanDisk said.
"SSDs are poised to enter mainstream corporate notebooks in 2009," Rich Heye, senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's Solid State Drives business unit, said.
"Given the current economic environment, corporate IT managers have also described a desire to extend the service life of existing notebooks. These notebooks are already maxed out on DRAM and struggle to meet users' performance expectations. Existing WinXP notebooks can be upgraded to a 60GB SSD for $149, resulting in a system that frequently outperforms a new notebook with a HDD, thereby delaying the need for large capital purchases," Heye said.
The SanDisk G3 SSDs, when they become available to the U.S. market in mid-2009, in a 2.5-inch PATA configuration expressly for this purpose. The SanDisk G3 SSDs will be available at that time on Sandisk.com for do-it-yourself enthusiasts, Heye said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...